BioShock

It’s a beautiful thing when a game that has been hyped up over the course of a couple years truly delivers. BioShock does just that, and much more. No one could really for-see how this game would pan out. From the first cinematic trailer where we witnessed the main character pull a young girl out of a whole in the wall while wielding a large wrench, to the gameplay demo of how to take down a Big Daddy. It looked so different and seemed to cover so much ground – it really could have gone either way. Luckily for us, BioShock is one hell of a game!

BioShock

The story starts out on a plane, which quickly ends up as a pile of flaming debris in a body of water. You don’t know where you are or why the plane crashed, but there’s a lighthouse looking structure close by that ends up leading you to an under-water city, Rapture. You quickly gain an Allie in the form of a radio. The voice on the other end seems to know quite a bit about the goings on down below and guides you through the game as you complete your objectives and explore Rapture. You collect details and unravel the mysteries of Rapture via recorded messages found on recorders through-out the city. Some contain hints to the location of weapons and the like, others contain door codes, but most of them are there to shed a bit more light on things. It’s nice picking them up and having them play in the background as you continue to explore. I much preferred this over the typical diaries you might find in other games that require you to stop playing and read a few pages at a time. If I wanted to read, I’d pick up a book.

BioShock

The environment created by a gorgeous art style, amazing architecture and beautiful music is enough to really pull you into the game. It’s set in the 1960s but Rapture was built in the â€Ëœ40s. So there’s nothing digital and everything is very mechanical. There are several types of vending machines where you acquire everything from health and EVE, to ammo and Plasmids. Of course, these things are found through-out the game as well, but can be purchased if you’re in dire need.

Without exposing too much of the story, scientists in Rapture created these genetic enhancements called Plasmids. They allow you to do extraordinary things like shoot blasts of electricity from your hands or unleash a swarm of bees at your enemies. Plasmids require EVE, which is comprised of processed ADAM. To make a long story short, ADAM is in short supply and in turn, high demand. The only remaining ADAM has been injected into little girls which are now more like little demons called Little Sisters. Since everyone wants to get their hands on ADAM, personal bodyguards are assigned to the Little Sisters – Big Daddy. Wherever you see a Little Sister, you’re sure to see a Big Daddy close by. Big Daddies are pretty harmless and walk slowly and loudly around Rapture. But get to close to a Little Sister and the Big Daddy quickly turns aggressive and is one tough beast to take down.

BioShock

The story of the fall of Rapture is truly engaging and ever present. While you do a fair bit of exploring, it’s not easy to get lost. Your man on the radio helps you find your way around and when there’s a specific destination you need to reach, a gold arrow appears at the top of the screen to guide you. There’s also a map for quick reference and a list of current objectives. So while there’s lots to do and you cover a fair amount of ground, it’s always clear what you need to do and where you need to go.

I believe I’m just over half done my first play through. I actually stopped playing for a good week as I was experiencing constant lags that would last from 3-5 seconds. Not enough to make it unplayable, but enough to make it no longer enjoyable. While I was capturing some gameplay footage this afternoon, I realized it wasn’t lagging at all. I was also using the Dashboard Themes console this time. After a quick search, I found a solution on the 2K forums that apparently works, but I’m yet to try it for myself. Anyway, I started playing again last night and realized how much I was truly enjoying this game. Now I can’t wait to finish the story, then play it through a second time.

Rating: 5/5

BioShock

19 Responses to “BioShock”

  1. This really sounds like a great game, I've already tried the demo out. Looks amazing and I really like the concept.

    About the lagging problem, I always clear the hard-drive from cache. This makes everything smoother especially when I play Oblivion (this is where I first had this problem).

    You should really try it, I have it as a habit now to always clear it before a long gaming session ;).

  2. Hey Matt,

    I know I am being pedantic but i'm just letting you know you have a typo "wielding a large wrench, so the gameplay demo of how" is supposed to say "to the game play demo of how".

    On the Bioshock/360 side of things I took your word for it and went out and bought a 360 and the transition between PC Gaming to the 360 went better than I expected.

    I've never really been into consoles apart from Goldeneye on the N64 and I have had plenty of other but rarely ever played them.

    I'm glad to say the 360 has changed that, I have got Bioshock but just finishing Call of Duty 3 before I start on it.

    By the way, good write up on the X'07, enjoyed the read.

  3. Think Bioshock is shaping up to be one of my all time favorite games.

    The visual quality and artwork is better than anything I've seen before.

    Was also lucky enough to have just picked up a new surround sound system. And man, does that make a big difference. When the Big Daddies approach, the whole room shakes : )

  4. @Alexander: Are you referring to the complete HDD cache whipe? As in, you have to install all the updates again, etc. Or the Oblivion cache whipe? As far as I know, there's no standard practice for including the ability to clear the game's cache. It's up to the developers to include such a "feature". And even then, the shortcut would be different – BioShock is LB and RB and I know Oblivion is different.

    @Gavin: Thanks for pointing out the typo. Fixed.

    Glad you're happy having switched from PC to Xbox 360. It's hard to make that first step, then all of the sudden you're asking yourself why you didn't do it sooner. Gaming on the Xbox 360 is goood.

    @Dave: I'm actually getting a little tired of hacking now. I find that I'm mostly just hacking the stationary turrets and camera, and taking out the flying turrets by freezing or zapping them with the Electrobolt Plasmid.

    @neve: The first and last screenshots are pre-release shots, but that's not to say the game doesn't look that good. It most certainly does. Check out GameSpot's screenshots. Everything from Aug 20 on was taken by them during gameplay. You really need to see some video footage, though. Screenshots hardly do it justice.

    @Dennis: Funny you mentioned the importance of surround sound. I spent a couple hours yesterday preparing a gameplay video, but ended up scrapping it just before publishing this article. While I was playing, there was a couple spots where I had a hard time figuring out where the bad dudes were coming from. A Big Daddy was super close, but I couldn't find it. Figured out while editing that the audio channels were reversed. Talk about disorienting! While re-watching the video after swapping the audio channels, I realized I couldn't publish the video. Makes me look like a total idiot! I was yelling at the screen, "Dude! The other way!" Haha… I'll try and get around to doing another one ASAP.

  5. This is easily the best FPS I've played in a very long time!

    I'd say that the voice acting and the music throughout the game are what push this from really good to simply amazing.

    The atmosphere of the game doesn't let up at all right up to the end.

    The only part of this game that got old and repetitive is the damn hacking. It was cool the first couple of times, but by the 200th it got really old.

  6. I had the same lagging problem. I didn't mind it at first because it only seemed to happen during a scripted event, giving me that extra second or two to think about what weapon to use. Now it's just plain annoying.

  7. @Nick: Try out 2K's fix I linked to in the last paragraph. Worked for me. I tried it out last night and re-played the last 15 minutes or so and it ran smooth as butter the entire time.

  8. The LB + RB method doesn't seem to work for me.

    The lagging wasn't so bad on the other levels, but now on the level that begins with H, it lags every 5 seconds or so.

  9. I was discussing with some friends a few minutes ago that a movie would be a perfect compliment to this game.

    I was thinking it could be a prequel. People play the game then watch the movie to see Rapture go from thriving underwater Utopia to a chaotic underwater grave…or watch the movie and then people want to play the game 😉

  10. I've been watching my boyfriend play this game, since he's been glued to it, and I agree, it is truly amazing. The graphics are incredible and the story is awesome. I love how it's one of those kinds of games that literally drags you into it, so it's hard to stop because you want to get to the next part!

    I also appreciate how the items and things you use are mechanical, like you mentioned, and not so "digital", as lots of games these days are leaning towards. I've always liked "old style" designs in gaming…it's a refreshing change. 😀

  11. The game looks amazing, but I can't actually get it to run. Apparently there's widespread PC panic… my game runs fine until the plane crashes, then black screen. Some people with the same problem have fixed it by uninstalling codec packs. Hopefully… patch soon.

  12. Nice write up, Matt!

    Odd, here in Oz I'm sure the dude on the radio is named Atlas and not Allie.

    Would they really have changed it in different regions or am I just mad?!

    I have heard of the game stopping for several seconds at a time but I'm yet to experience this after playing for a good 3-4 hours.

  13. Totally man. This game is AMAZING. I took a break myself to play Metroid but all the talk around the office is about Bioshock. So I fired it back up last night and am hellbent on completing it so I can talk at work about it. HAHA. Glad to hear it quit lockin up on ya.

  14. Woot! It works on my laptop now. It's running smoothly on the highest settings (I expected lowest at most, but it looks great!). I have an 8600m GT – Nvidia hasn't released a working driver for the mobile version of hte card yet, but the people at http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/ made a workaround.

    Check it out if you're having the black screen after the beginning plane sequence!

    I actually don't have a mouse for my laptop, so I've been playing with the touchpad… bleh.